19 Great Summer Music Festivals

Your month by month guide of music festivals in the East of England

Summer is here, and there’s no better way to celebrate than by dancing the day away at a music festival. Whether it’s big crowds and a star-studded line you’re after or perhaps a place to sip Pimms and listen to classical sounds, there’s a festival for you taking place this summer in the East of England. Book your tickets now!  

Newmarket Nights, Newmarket Racecourse, Suffolk, 9 June – 25 August

The line up for this year’s concerts is one of the best yet, but you’ll need to be quick, tickets are selling out fast. Combining an evening of horse racing and live music the Newmarket Nights are a great summer event. This year the line-up includes Craig David on 20 July (sold out), Plan B on 27 July, Nile Rodgers on 10 August, George Ezra on 17 August and The Vamps on 25 August. www.newmarket.thejockeyclub.co.uk/newmarket-nights

The Oundle International Festival, Cambs, 4-14 July

The Oundle International Festival returns for its 34th year with a programme so broad in appeal that there is something for everyone to enjoy. There will be concerts by world class musicians, rising stars and local performance groups, an open air theatre, a ‘Bach Walk’ to tie in with Peterborough Cathedral’s 900th anniversary celebrations and the ‘Oundle on Show’ weekend which features Music in the Park, the Big Afternoon Tea and chance to look around some of the town’s ‘hidden’ buildings and join historical tours taking place throughout the town. The festival concludes with the town’s fabulous open-air party, Party at the Wharf, which is this year headlined by Toploader.  www.oundlefestival.org.uk


Maverick Music Festival, Easton Farm Park, Suffolk, 7-8 July

Yee-haa! Join in the Americana Maverick Music Festival as it hosts a fantastic line up of American and English music acts all waiting to bring you a taste of the American dream. Set amongst the Victorian barns and buildings of Easton Farm, visitors can see over 50 artists across six stages, both indoors and out from 5pm on the Friday. Saturday programme starts at 11am until 11.30pm and on Sunday 10.30am until 2.30pm. So gather your tent, lots of water and a slice of American Pie and book your tickets now to avoid being disappointed. Acts include The Danberry’s, Hillfolk Noir and The Goat Roper Rodeo Band to name a few! https://maverickfestival.co.uk/

Oundle Festival, Toploader

Latitude Festival, Henham Park, Suffolk, 12-15 July

Set in a beautiful location, Latitude Festival is a favourite among festival-goers. With a relaxed atmosphere, it’s ideal for all family members. Now in its 13th year, the Festival will once again host an impressive and diverse mix of comedy, music, theatre and poetry. The activities and sheer scale of this festival is what makes it so popular. Visitors can take swim in the lake, tuck into delicious food at the Street Feast, dance the day and night away with DJ sets and discover SOLAS; a wellbeing and healing sanctuary in the woodlands. www.latitudefestival.com

Brentwood Festival, Essex, 13-15 July

Each year the festival grows in popularity. Now in its 8th year, the crowds gather at the Brentwood Centre, where they are treated to a weekend of live music, food, a festival market and fairground. This year’s headliners include Squeeze, Scouting for Girls and Heather Small. Camping facilities are available, plus a VIP area, street food, market stalls and fun fair. Check out the unsigned stage which features some of the best up and coming bands in Essex. www.brentwoodfestival.co.uk

Battle of the Proms, Hatfield House, Herts, 14 July

The Battle Proms picnic concert takes place in the Queen Elizabeth Oak Field in the leafy parkland at Hatfield House. A summer celebration, the event begins at 4.30pm, and offers an afternoon and evening of entertainment including Napoleonic re-enactors, WWI Cavalry Display, The Red Devils, singing duo The Vignettes and evening gun salute. The Battle Proms Orchestral performance and a traditional sing-along, flag-waving and grand firework display close the event. A meticulously choreographed and tear-jerking aerial display is performed by Carolyn Grace in her legendary Mark IX Spitfire in the skies above the arena to accompany the concert’s opening pieces. Tickets from £39. www.hatfield-house.co.uk

Folk by the Oak, Hatfield House, Herts, 15 July

The intimate Acorn Stage and buzz of the open air festival buzz of the main stage, showcase a day of award-winning musicians and inspiring new talent. The day also features crafts, workshops and a creative family area. Tickets from £39.95. www.folkbytheoak.com

Maui Waui Festival – credit Jerry Tye

Holt Festival, Holt, Norfolk, 21-29 July

Year after year this vibrant cultural festival serves up the very best arts and performances from across the region. The town comes alive with a vibrant mix of comedy, poetry, dance, music and more with  something for everyone to enjoy. The open-air Theatre in the Woods is a must visit! 2018 acts include Tom Baxter Band and Leo Sayer. Don’t miss Jasper Carrott’s new stand up show, on 29 July at the Theatre in the Woods. www.holtfestival.org

Standon Calling, Herts, 26-29 July

Standon Calling is all about music and fun! Having quickly established itself as one of the most popular festivals of the summer, attracting visitors from across the country. The festival has become a much more family orientated event in recent years with entertainment including children’s craft zones, workshops and performances, plus a wellbeing area which includes yoga and hot tubs and a dog show! 2018 headliners include Paloma Faith, George Ezra and Bryan Ferry. http://standon-calling.com

Cambridge Rock Festival, Barton, Cambs, 26-29  July

Now in its 14th year, the festival features around 75 bands appearing on three fully covered stages set outdoors in the grounds of Horseheath Lodge. The festival includes real-ale, on-site camping with parking by your tent and a variety of food stalls. This year there is the addition of a ‘glamping’ package. www.cambridgerockfestival.co.uk

Cambridge Folk Festival, Cherry Hinton Hall, Cambs, 2-5 August

One of the longest running and most famous folk festivals in the world, the festival attracts thousands each year. Its renowned for its mix of music and great line-up of artists. Over 40 acts will be taking to the stage including five artists who will play across the weekend including Peggy Seeger, Kaia Kater, Birds of Chicago, Amythyst Kiah and Yola Carter, all of which have been selected by guest curator Rhiannon Giddens, who hails from North Carolina. Camping facilities, children’s entertainment, music workshops and other entrainment will also be available. Sponsor Visit North Carolina in conjunction with Yep Roc Records are offering you the chance to win a North Carolina Bluegrass holiday of a life time! www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/folk-festival

Bedford Park Concerts, Beds, 3-5 August

The legendary Billy Ocean will be taking to the stage on Friday 3 August supported by soul singer Jaki Graham and ASWAD, a fantastic reggae band. Tickets cost from £35. On Sunday 5 August, the town will be alive with the sounds of the famous Bedford Park Proms. This year’s soloist is English soprano Lesley Garrett, among many other talented artists. The concert will conclude with rousing favourites for flag-waving and singing along, including Rule Britannia and Land of Hope & Glory, as thousands of lasers and fireworks light up the sky. Tickets prices from £33.50. www.bedfordparkconcerts.co.uk/bedford-proms

Classic Ibiza, Blickling Hall, Norfolk, 10 August

Always a sell-out, The Urban Soul Orchestra conducted by Stephen Hussey return to perform classic Ibiza anthems under the stars, with live DJ and vocalists. A chill-out set in the first half will be followed by a half hour interval with the DJ playing the latest Ibiza tunes. As dusk falls, the lasers will hit the Blickling skyline, as the Urban Soul Orchestra return to bring some of the best of the White Island’s dance tunes to orchestral life.  www.classicibiza.co.uk

Great British Proms, Blickling Hall, Norfolk, 11 August

The Great British Proms at Blickling, is now a firm favourite in the Norfolk calendar. This year’s event will be celebrating 100 years of the RAF. The programme will be a fantastic celebration of those magnificent men in their flying machines. The evening will be packed with performances of Proms favourites, closing with a spectacular firework display. The National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Anthony Inglis will be joined by the Rolls-Royce Spitfire. Tickets priced £37.50.  www.greatbritishprom.co.uk

Rita Ora will perform at the Rize Festival

RiZE Festival, Hylands Park, Chelmsford, 17-18 August

A brand new festival for 2018, the event brings big names to the Essex. There will be headline sets from Liam Gallagher, who will headline the main stage on Friday night and the Stereophonics on Saturday. Other acts include James Bay, Craig David, Plan B, Bastille and many more. Festival goers can enjoy luxury camping, street food stalls, chill out area and glitter make up station. Performances from some of the world’s biggest artists including Rita Ora and Rag ‘N’ Bone Man. rizefestival.co.uk

FolkEast, Glenham Hall, Suffolk, 17-19 August

Now in its 7th year, the rural event hosts local and international acts. Headliners include Oysterband, Show of Hands with Miranda Sykes, and The John Langan Band, plus others including Irish Mythen, Tim Edey, Wild Willy Barrett & The French Connection, Rodney Branigan, The Magnificent AK47, The Gigspanner Big Band, and many more. Additional activities include storytellers, instrument makers’ festival, yoga, poetry, foraging walks and more. www.folkeast.co.uk

Maui Waui Festival, Theberton, Suffolk, 24-26 August

Maui Waui is a three day festival of international music, performance and arts. Now in its 6th year it is fast becoming one of the area most exciting festivals in East Anglia, pulling in accomplished as well as undiscovered bands and performers from all around the globe. A family friendly festival, there’s plenty of activities for children and for adults, a host of world class bands, full circus shows in a dedicated circus tent, small upbeat bands and acoustic acts, plus cabaret and comedy. New for 2018 is the World Music Café Stage; an exciting new stage to showcase world music from around the globe, expect late night Flamenco shows, traditional Reggae and live African music. www.mauiwauievents.co.uk

Cool Britannia, Knebworth House, Hertfordshire, 31 August – 2 September

Welsh rock band Feeder and indie rockers Razorlight have been confirmed to play the new epic music festival Cool Britannia. The festival, featuring iconic acts inspired by an epic era, will also see the premier of ‘Britpop Classical’ which will feature a full orchestra together with rock band and guest soloists. Camping facilities available. The festival has teamed up with Ministry of Sound and will feature some of the best club DJs of the era. Tickets from £65.45. www.coolbritanniafest.com.

Subterranean Festival, Cambridge Corn Exchange, 15 September

Following on from last year’s success, the indoor rock and indie festival makes a welcomed return. The Corn Exchange will be transformed into a four-stage music mecca, bursting with richly creative local talent alongside touring headliners. Three stages will be placed inside the auditorium featuring a number of bands from Cambridge and the surrounding areas, each bringing their own distinctive style and energy. Headliners include Ginger Wildheart , Andy Cairns, REWS and Austin Gold.Tickets are £16. www.cambridgelivetrust.co.uk/cornex/events/subterranean




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